By Sarah Chacko

Killeen Daily Herald

A spiritual revival served as a community tribute to civil-rights advocate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

City and state leaders, along with hundreds of area residents, packed into the Killeen Community Center gym Monday to celebrate the life and legacy King left behind more than 35 years ago.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, hundreds of voices rang out together. Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.

Killeen NAACP Youth Council President Courtney Maldonado welcomed those who gathered in the spirit of unity for which King worked so hard.

Were celebrating a day on, not a day off, she said.

And celebrate they did.

A march led by the NAACP Youth Council started off in the morning at City Hall and meandered through downtown Killeen.

Ellison High Schools newly created gospel choir, Chosen, had people out of their seats clapping and singing with enthusiasm that many said was an appropriate memorial for the non-violent activist who inspired so many.

It lights the fire again, said Harker Heights resident Eva Cummings.

The keynote speaker, the Rev. J.A. Moland, said the change for which leaders like King fought was evident at the citys march through downtown before the service no bullwhips, attack dogs or water hoses.

It is true that we have come a long way, Moland said. It is also true that we have a long way to go.

While laws can be passed to serve for equality in institutions, Moland said no law could make people love one another.

But the dream that King had the faith in the ability for people to change and inequality be conquered can continue to be manifested in lives today, Moland said.

With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, NAACP Youth Council Member Zachary Burden read from Kings famous speech in 1963. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Contact Sarah Chacko at

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